Indoor cycling for older adults

Today's high-tech stationary bikes are ridden at top speed, with instructors telling cyclists when to coast, sprint, and climb.

indoor cycling spin class
Image: JackF/Thinkstock

One of the hottest trends among the workout set springs from your old stationary bicycle. The new use for old wheels is a supercharged cardio workout called indoor cycling or Spinning (its trademarked name). First popular in the 1990s, the activity is still going strong and is now popular among older adults. "Many classes are specifically for seniors, with instructors who are familiar with modifications for your age group," says Jacob Girlinghouse, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The workout and benefits

Entire studios are now devoted to indoor cycling, offering classes on cycling machines that track mileage, calories burned, and pulse. A workout typically involves exercising on a cycle in a group while an instructor calls out instructions to simulate a real ride with climbing, sprinting, and coasting. The cycling varies between sitting and standing, and the speed, resistance, and intensity levels can be adapted to your skill level.

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